By Megan Lynch @MLynchOnAir
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – Some St. Louis residents think their new therapists are the cat’s meow.
Because they are cats. Many suffering from the same ailments as the humans they visit in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Like Purrsephone, a kitty who’s visually impaired and normally very active. “She surprised everybody by sitting in the lap of nursing home resident who was also blind. It was just a really neat moment to see a person and a cat bond so quickly.”
Elizabeth Frick is Executive Director of Tenth Life Cat Rescue, which caters to animals with special needs. Purrsephone is part of Cat Companions.
Every week foster families take as many as two dozen cats and kittens to visit residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but not before they’re screened and trained by Tenth Life Cat Companions Coordinator, Rachael Ludwig. “All of our cats are temperament tested before they are allowed to become therapy cats,” says Frick adding, they have to be pretty laid back, “easily handled, doesn’t bite, doesn’t try to get away, isn’t too active.” They need to be calm and willing to be handled by numerous people in noisy rooms.
Frick says sometimes these cats do what no one else can.
“A woman pushed her mother’s wheelchair into the room to meet the kitties and said that her mother hadn’t spoken and rarely laughed or smiled. Once the cats came out and sat in the woman’s lap, she just laughed and smiled the entire time.”
For more information:
Tenth Life Cat Rescue